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Haaland would solve Chelsea issue but Tuchel must get Werner firing

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homas Tuchel inherited more than £200million worth of attacking talent at Chelsea. Now he must get them firing. 

The German has had an instant impact at Stamford Bridge – picking up seven points from a possible nine, keeping three clean sheets and totally dominating possession against Wolves, Burnley and Tottenham. 

But if he is to oversee a serious tilt at the Champions League – maybe even the Premier League – he must breathe life into a forward line that has lost its cutting edge. 

After giving both Olivier Giroud and Tammy Abraham opportunities to stake a claim to lead his attack, Tuchel got creative against Spurs. 

Mason Mount was deployed as a false nine with Timo Werner and Callum Hudson-Odoi as split strikers. It didn’t work. 

For all of Chelsea’s control against Jose Mourinho’s ambitionless Spurs, they mustered just one shot on target in the first half – via Jorginho’s decisive penalty

Mount tested Hugo Lloris one more time after the break, but no more than Eric Dier did with one woeful back pass.

That Chelsea recorded the same number of shots on target as Tottenham – two – despite their control, points to the challenge facing Tuchel to convert possession into genuine scoring chances. 

For his part, he refuses to place the blame on his misfiring forwards.

“We need create more clear chances,” he said. “This is the objective and this is the job for me and I blame nobody because I never scored in my career in the second and third league. 

“It is the hardest thing, or one of the hardest things in football to score and be calm. But we have trust in our players and we will work to create even more chances and to create more clear chances and to be more effective. 

“But it is hard to talk the guys into it. In general, everyone wants to score with every half-chance and chance we have. It is not like this in the Premier League so no worries so far.”

One obvious concern is the form of Werner. 

The £45m striker has now managed just one goal in 18 games, with that coming against League Two Morecambe in the FA Cup.

His touch was heavy against Spurs and on the limited occasions he got a sight at goal, he was uncertain. 

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Werner has flattered to deceive at Stamford Bridge since his £45m move from RB Leipzig last summer

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It was notable he was taken off penalty duties based on what Tuchel has seen in training over the past week. Not only was Jorginho reinstated as first-choice, but Mount has now been promoted to back-up. 

Considering Tuchel’s desperation to get Werner back on the scoresheet by any means necessary, it suggests a lack of confidence in him on the coach’s part.

It also offers evidence that the Germany international’s issues in front of goal are not solely limited to match action, but on the training pitch as well. 

It is easy to look ahead to the summer window to solve the problem, with Erling Haaland high on Chelsea’s wanted list. 

But there is more than enough attacking talent among the group inherited by Tuchel. Hakim Ziyech has barely been involved. Christian Pulisic is yet to start. 

They are two of Chelsea’s most creative sources, so finding a way to fit them into his system of two No10s or split forwards will be key. 

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Borussia Dortmund goal machine Erling Haaland would be the perfect cure to Chelsea’s striker issues

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Then there is Kai Havertz, the player Frank Lampard was supposed to build his team around. His failure to do so contributed to his sacking last week.

Add to that group, Hudson-Odoi, who has quickly become a Tuchel favourite, and Mount, and he faces a significant challenge juggling such an array of talent if he continues with three centre-backs, a double six and wing-backs. Abraham and Giroud will also hope to be involved more. 

Lampard barely had the chance to field his ideal attack of Ziyech, Werner and Pulisic, with Havertz behind, with injury and illness robbing him of their services at various stages of the season. 

These are the players Tuchel will be expected to get the most out of after Roman Abramovich sanctioned such heavy investment in the post-Eden Hazard era. 

Between the four of them they have managed three goals since the end of November. Two of those came in the FA Cup third-round tie against Morecambe. Over the same period, Giroud and Abraham have shared 15. 

So it is a problem Tuchel has inherited, but the speed with which Chelsea’s players have bought into his methods is a major cause of optimism. 

The defensive solidity and midfield control is plain to see after just three games in charge. So is the movement of his attackers and interchanging of positions. It is just the cutting edge that is lacking.

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But can Thomas Tuchel coax the best form from his current forward options?

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For a man who worked with Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani at Paris Saint-Germain, it was always going to be near-impossible to walk into a team with comparable firepower.

Yet the quality of the options at Tuchel’s disposal at Chelsea is undeniable.

Werner scored 34 goals in his last season at RB Leipzig. Havertz hit 15 from January to the end of the season, while Ziyech has already demonstrated his creative qualities in flashes this term.

That trio, along with Pulisic, were signed to create a Chelsea attack for years to come – one to build a new era of success upon. 

Tuchel’s own success relies on his ability to maximise their potential.


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